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Israel attacking historical, cultural Palestinian sites in Gaza, West Bank, Jerusalem

March 14, 2024 at 9:42 am

A view of damaged building as the historical buildings such as mosques, churches, baths and bazaars are damaged or destroyed by Israeli attacks in Gaza City, Gaza on January 06, 2024. [Bilal Salem – Anadolu Agency]

The ongoing Israeli aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip has targeted historic sites and cultural centres destroying them either completely or partially while the indiscriminate killing has led to the death of many of the enclave’s writers, artists and activists, a joint report issued by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Ministry of Culture has revealed.

The report issued yesterday on the Palestinian National Culture Day said Israel has destroyed 32 cultural centres and institutions as well as 12 museums while more than 2,100 pieces of heritage dresses and embroidered items had been lost. As many as 45 writers, artists and activists have been killed by Israel since it started its war in October.

The Israeli aggression has led to the destruction of about 27 murals, and the bombing of more than eight publishing houses and printing presses, three media and art production companies and studios, nine public libraries as well as four religious shrines.

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The Israeli bombing has completely destroyed 219 mosques and partially destroyed 287 mosques and three churches, 195 historical buildings, nine archaeological sites and 19 universities and colleges.

In the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army’s restriction on movement, repeated invasions and various massacres have caused the halting of many cultural activities including the soap festival in the city of Nablus, which was scheduled in April as part of the Ministry of Culture’s preparations to register the soap on the World Heritage List.

The statement said that Palestinian institutions and associations in the occupied city of Jerusalem “were subjected to attempts to dismantle them… as happened with the Al-Hakawati Theatre,” adding that “the [Israeli] occupation authorities are working to put in place everything that would keep these associations ineffective and completely stop their activity, through stifling administrative and legal processes.”

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